Right now, billions of bees are dying. Already, there are nowhere near enough honeybees in Europe to pollinate the crops, and in California — the biggest food producer in the US — beekeepers are losing 40% of their bees each year.
We’re in the middle of an environmental holocaust that threatens all of us, because without pollination by bees, most plants and ⅓ of our food supply are gone.
Scientists are sounding the alarm about pesticides that are toxic to bees, and say we’re using way, way more pesticides on our crops than we need. But as with oil companies and climate change, big drug companies that sell pesticides are fighting back with corporate-funded junk science that questions the evidence, and gives politicians an excuse to delay.
Scientific studies are expensive. Avaaz may be the only crowdsourced funding model in the world able to raise enough to fund the world’s first large scale, grass-roots supported, totally independent study of what’s killing our bees, that decisively challenges the junk science of big pharma. The need is urgent, and if we can’t do this, it’s not clear who can. Let’s see if we can raise a massive fund to save our bees.
Click to pledge what you can, we’ll process your donation only if we raise enough to fund a study that can go head to head with big pharma:
We’re running out of time. A new study has revealed the scary truth: in more than half of European countries, there are not enough honeybees to pollinate crops. In the UK, the honeybee population is only a quarter of what is actually needed for pollination — and although other kinds of bees are stepping in to fill the honeybee void, we’ll likely start losing them too if we keep loading our crops down with pesticides.
And it might all be for nothing: in the 70 years since pesticides were introduced, we’ve learned that some of them do more harm than good when it comes to cultivating our food because they kill off the natural enemies of pests. Worse still, over time many pests become immune to pesticides, forcing farmers to use more and more deadly chemicals — often poisoning themselves in the process.
Everyone from official government agencies to scientists agree that one group of widely-used pesticides called neonicotinoids is killing bees. But chemical giants like Bayer and their supporters continue to argue against regulation of their products, presenting self-funded research they claim show pesticides aren’t necessarily responsible for the bees’ deadly decline. And it’s working — in the United States, the newest battleground for the ban on deadly pesticides, the government says there is not yet enough evidence to justify a ban. If we lose in the US, Europe could follow suit and lift their own temporary hold on these dangerous chemicals.
It’s time to end the debate once and for all. When enough of us pledge, Avaaz will fund research by highly-respected scientists to fill critical gaps in knowledge. Then, we can join beekeepers and local advocacy organisations in a massive global offensive to save the bees by fueling strategies like:
- Organising a media tour with our giant Bernie the bee to ensure the research shows up in the world’s biggest media outlets.
- Funding public opinion polls in key agricultural countries to smash the claim that farming communities can’t survive without bee-killing chemicals.
- Going after retailers to take the deadly pesticides off their shelves. It’s already happening in Europe, but we’ll get supermarkets and garden centres around the globe to follow suit.
- Campaigning hard to get a game-changing anti-pesticides bill that has been lounging in the US congress passed once and for all.
- Naming and shaming those pushing the bee-killing pesticides by running hard-hitting billboard and newspaper ads.
- Taking legal action to stop government agencies that have approved neonicotinoid pesticides, despite evidence proving they are toxic to bees and a host of other beneficial creatures.
The bees are up against a well-oiled, resource rich machine that will do whatever it takes to ensure the profits of chemical companies and big agriculture don’t take a hit. Pledge now to support a massive effort to save the bees — Avaaz will only process donations if we raise enough to make a difference:
If the bees die out, the world we hand off to our grandchildren will look very different — apples and almonds could become exotic foods in our supermarkets. But we’re making incredible progress in the fight to protect our precious pollinators: last year 2.4 million Avaaz members were part of a massive movement in Europe that convinced the EU Parliament to place a 2-year ban on the worst bee-killing chemicals. If our movement joins forces now to clear up the false debate that’s stalling our legislators, we could win urgently-needed pesticide bans all over the world and end the chemical war on bees once and for all!
With hope and determination,
Ricken, Mia, Emma, Allison, Christoph, Mais, Emily, Ian, Jeremy and the whole Avaaz team
Pesticides halve bees’ pollen gathering ability, research shows (The Guardian)
Honeybee shortage threatens crop pollination in Europe (BBC)
Pesticides ‘making bees smaller’ (The Guardian)
U.S. funds research to reduce use of pesticides harmful to bees (Reuters)
Chemical giants go to court, bees go to Washington, and giant carpenter bees (The Guardian)
One-Third of U.S. Honeybee Colonies Died Last Winter, Threatening Food Supply (Wired)
Pesticide Lobby Spends Millions To Defend Chemicals Tied To Bee Deaths (Huffington Post)
Warning Signs: How Pesticides Harm the Young Brain (The Nation)